Every young professional will tell you that the work world involves lots of emails. As such, knowing how to craft a polished professional email is essential for high schoolers who wish to be taken seriously when applying to internships and jobs. If you're an email novice, here are a few rules to keep in mind as you draft your first set of professional emails.
1. Start with a formal greeting
Unlike a casual "Hi" or "Hey," your greeting in a professional email should be formal. "Dear so-and-so" is a tried-and-true greeting, which gives your recipient the professional respect they deserve. If you're writing to a generic email address without a specific name, "To whom it may concern" is another great opening.
2. Introduce yourself
In many cases, your email will be going to a recruiter whom you've never met. Be sure to briefly introduce yourself at the beginning of your email, adding relevant details such as your school or your current company or position. While you shouldn't restate your resume, adding a few head-turning details in the opening of an email may compel the recipient to continue reading.
3. State your purpose
Since many professionals get hundreds of emails a day, you will want to state your goal for sending an email as clear and concise as possible. Be sure to make your purpose specific to the person or company you are contacting. If you could replace the company name with another name and send it without editing any other content, your writing is too generic. Generic responses are less likely to receive a response, so be sure to reference specifics about each company you contact clearly.
4. Close respectfully
Be sure to close respectfully yet effectively. You should always thank your recipient for the time they spent reading your email. In many cases, it is also effective to end by expressing that you're looking forward to their response or discussing your purpose further. By alluding to the future, you hint to the reader that you are serious about following up, and you may compel them to reply.
Proofreading could be the most crucial part of writing an excellent professional email. Be sure that your writing is logical and grammatically correct. Numerous typos or grammatical errors will send your email straight to the trash bin, so be sure to pay careful attention to the quality of your writing.
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